Is e-filing really a much better way to file your taxes?
Americans and the IRS might not agree about everything, but they are mostly on the exact same page when it comes to e-filing individual income tax returns.
The majority of individual income tax returns filed to the IRS are e-filed. E-filing is popular because it’s a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.
And in return, you could get any refund you are owed quicker, particularly if you have it directly deposited to your bank account.
However, what about safety? And can digital filing actually provide you access to all the forms you may need in case you’ve got a intricate tax situation? Are there ever situations when you can not e-file? Let us look at the advantages of e-filing, and if it might be the very best filing choice for your needs.
If you’re thinking about e-filing, some of the advantages include:
- Quick confirmation your forms have been received: The IRS will confirm a tax filing was received within one day of electronic submission. For paper filers, the IRS doesn’t send any acknowledgment that your forms have arrived safely.
Timely refunds: When you submit a paper filing, it can take six to eight months to receive a tax refund. With e-filing, you’ll get your money in three weeks or less. Choosing direct deposit may also accelerate the refund procedure.
Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there is approximately a 1% error rate on e-filed returns, compared with a 20% rate of mistakes on paper filings. The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed yields compared with paper yields.
Easy payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to cover at your advantage when you e-file. It’s possible to submit returns early and pay later if necessary, provided that you pay by the April 15 filing deadline. You also have the choice to pay your balance by using the IRS Direct pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order. Just be aware delaying payment after the filing due date (typically April 15) can result in penalties and interest.
Digital storage of tax data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is a digital copy of your tax documents. If something happens to your paperwork, you’ll have an electronic backup.
The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those benefits — and the process of doing so is easy.
The forms do the math for you and provide basic advice. You can simply do your federal return with these forms.
Employing online tax preparation software is far and away the favored approach of most taxpayers. Actually, the IRS says it expected more than four tax returns to be submitted through tax return prep software.
Is e-filing really secure?
While e-filing is convenient, you could be worried about safety — particularly with so many data breaches. But experts agree that this isn’t an issue which should dissuade you by e-filing.
“E-filing a tax return has proven to be an extremely secure way to file your taxes,” states Scott Grissom, vice president of product direction, marketing and sales at LegalShield. “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your private information through an encrypted network as opposed to exposing your information in the email.”
Dennis Chow, vice president of information security at SCIS Security, clarifies the IRS has set safety measures in place to keep your information secure. “Trainers normally use IRS specific APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says. “All this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”
It’s important to use a trusted service that will assist you file your taxes. Chow advises to not e-file on a computer or utilize an internet connection which isn’t private.
For most taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and easy payment choices. Just be sure to use tax preparation software from a trusted source, so you can make certain the information you provide to transmit to the IRS is going to be kept secure.